The goal is to launch a new driverless taxi service, but the company, owned by Amazon, does not rule out retrofitting the vehicle for parcel delivery.
Zoox, a startup in the mobility sector acquired by Amazon in June, presented its first autonomous vehicle. It is not a car, nor a van, but rather a bizarre-looking robotaxi that resembles a small minibus with a symmetrical design. According to the company's definition, the vehicle is a "driverless carriage": equipped with an electric motor at each end, it can travel in both directions, with a maximum speed of 75 km / h and a range up to 16 hours earlier to be recharged, thanks to a double battery placed under each seat.
The Zoox robotaxi will seat four and will initially be used to launch a fully autonomous taxi service in cities such as San Francisco and Las Vegas. People will book their ride with a dedicated app, and prices, the company said, will be competitive with Uber and Lyft fares. Zoox also plans to expand the service to other countries, while its CEO admitted the vehicle could also be retrofitted to automate Amazon's package delivery.
The company has already successfully demonstrated a first working prototype of the "carriage", but due to the regulations and the need to develop the service related to putting the vehicles on the road, there is a good chance that the Zoox robotaxi will not drive any passenger before 2022.